Yes, I’m now convinced my garden is a war zone: Me against nature. There is not a week goes by without some new bug or disease attacking my plants.
I also woke up to rain this morning the first proper rain since November.
My gardening activities this week are once again directed from my garden armchair as the OH runs around trying to follow instructions to keep plants fed and watered, plus continue to wage war on the bugs and diseases that beset my little plot in paradise.
1. Blackbirds are Having a Feast!
My forced inactivity also gave me the opportunity to remain still and observe blackbirds (Mr. & Mrs) feasting on berries courtesy of a small palm tree (Mediterranean Fan Palm, Chamaerops humilis) growing just a meter from my chair. The Mediterranean Fan Palm is apparently the only Portuguese native palm.
2. Black Discoloration on My Prized Euphorbia Lactea White Ghost
My Six on Saturday would not be complete without sharing my latest casualty. I was hopping past this plant when I stopped in my tracks! OMG what’s happening?
I asked a succulent group on FB and someone suggest I use Cal-Mag he thought my Euphorbia had a fungal or viral infection from nutrient deficiency which the Cal Mag may help. (Calcium +Magnesium). Hopefully a local farmers co-op will sell it.
Other suggestions included treating with Apple cider vinegar:
“Dilute one tablespoon of vinegar in one gallon of water and use to treat fungal infection on any type of plant. It can also help treat black spot on roses.
Another suggestion was to use baking soda which can be used as a fungicide spray.
“Mix one tablespoon of soda with two and a half tablespoons of vegetable oil and add to a gallon of water. Shake the mixture well and add to it one half teaspoon of castile soap. Shake the spray bottle regularly while you are using it to keep the ingredients together. They tend to separate out. When using this spray to treat powdery mildew, first spray down the affected leaves with water. This can help to loosen up spores. You can also use the baking soda spray to treat early tomato blight, leaf blight, and anthracnose.”
What is baking soda? Is that bicarbonate of soda? And what is castile soap?
Has anyone tried either of the above and were they successful?
3. Pot Cover – Work in Progress
I happen to mention to my OH, that I wanted a cover to disguise the large plastic bucket I want to plant my (yet to be purchased) lemon tree in. There’s been a lot of hammering, sawing and banging going on in the garage over the last week so as curiosity was getting the better of me he took a photograph of his work in progress.
Each pallet was stripped. cut and sanded down and finally upcycled into a plant pot cover. It still needs to be painted black but even in in its rustic state I am IMPRESSED! What a sovely surprise!
4. Seeds – A seed in the hand is worth…
I had not intended to buy seeds but we’ve learned if you see it buy it. The OH shopping in Lidls while I waited at a local cafe, found a huge display of seeds and not knowing what to buy gave me a call. Off the top of my head I could only think of a few things I wanted but at least something is better than nothing!
5. Parodia leninghausii (Yellow Tower) Cacti in Flower
This is the first time this little cacti has flowered. I knew it did not like direct sunlight but what I did not realise is that it grows up to 1m tall. It has already outgrown the pot so once it’s finished flower and the weather is warmer I will repot.
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6. Organic Traps for Slugs and Snails
After reading some tips on discouraging slugs from feasting on my plants by using beer I set some of my own traps. 10 days later, ever the optimist I asked the OH to check the traps to see if any snails or slugs had been tempted. Nothing.
I discussed this at our newly formed local gardening group and was informed the beer I had used was in actual fact lager. A kindly soul suggested I use yeast and barley as the slugs/snails are drawn by the smell of yeast and duly delivered some barley later that day.
That’s my six for this week, fellow gardeners. As usual I’ll be along later to read all your posts over at the Propagator’s Blog.